Russia complains at Swiss fighter jet check on plane

Russia has demanded an explanation after two Swiss fighter jets carried out a "routine check" of a Russian official plane in its airspace.

Russia complains at Swiss fighter jet check on plane
A photo of the plane taken by Andrei Kolesnikov, Editor in Chief of Russian Pioneer.
The plane was passing over Switzerland carrying members of the Russian delegation and journalists to Lima, Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
Photographs showing the Swiss jets alongside the Russian plane were posted on social media.
“On Friday, November 18, 2016 shortly after 3 pm, two FA/18 planes of the Swiss air force carried out a routine check on a Russian state plane,” said the spokesman for the Swiss military, Daniel Reist.
The purpose was “to check the identification of the plane concerned”, a procedure he said was “provided for in the rules” of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Reist noted that the Swiss air force “carries out between 300 and 400 such checks every year”.
But Russian authorities expressed surprise at the incident. “We have asked for an explanation from Switzerland concerning the incident involving a Russian government plane in Swiss airspace,” the Russian embassy in Bern said in a Twitter message.
It is not the first time that a Russian plane crossing Swiss airspace has been subject to such a procedure. In October 2015, Moscow protested to the Swiss ambassador following a manoeuvre by an F/A-18 near a Russian transport plane carrying a parliamentary delegation to Geneva.
Switzerland apologised, but noted that Russian authorities had received prior notice of the move. The Russian foreign ministry had said it was “unconvinced” by the official Swiss explanation.


Travel in Switzerland: Geneva airport launches more Christmas flights

An increased number of flights will link the Swiss city with dozens of international destinations.

Travel in Switzerland: Geneva airport launches more Christmas flights
SWISS and EasyJet will fly to 70 destinations. Photo by AFP

Starting on December 19th, the timetable from Geneva’s Cointrin airport will be expanded to include 70 cities.

Most flights will be operated by EasyJet and SWISS.

The flagship airline will jet to 15 cities, including two new destinations — Marrakech in Morocco and Hurghada in Egypt.

EasyJet will fly to 40 cities in Europe. It will ensure nonstop flights to Spain, Portugal, France, and Greece, among other popular destinations.

It will also be possible to fly again to many regions of central and eastern Europe, where flights were discontinued or sharply reduced during the pandemic.

They include Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Kosovo.

Before you book a flight, however, be aware of most recent regulations and restrictions that are in effect at your destination.

READ MORE: Covid-19: What you need to know if you are travelling abroad from Switzerland

Some countries require you to be tested for Covid-19 prior to arrival and present a negative result. Others have a compulsory quarantine.

Switzerland also requires arrivals from certain countries to self-quarantine for 10 days. 

Whether on arrival or return, quarantine means you won’t be able to go out or receive guests during the time mandated by the government — usually between 10 and 14 days.